Forget the iPhone 15, next year's iPhone 16 could feature a major OLED upgrade

LG Display META OLED vs Conventional OLED
(Image credit: LG Display)

Apple's key screen suppliers, LG Display and Samsung Display, have reportedly approached the tech conglomerate to tout the benefits of Multi Lens Array (MLA) technology for future iPhones. Starting with the iPhone 16, which we assume will launch in September 2024, Apple could be upgrading its smartphone lineup to include more advanced OLED panels with some serious usability benefits.

MLA has already made headlines in the TV world, starting with the LG G3 OLED. The tech, spearheaded by LG Display, includes a thin sheet of angled lenses that directs the white light produced by OLED displays towards the user, thus boosting brightness levels. Low brightness has been a thorn in OLED's side for many years now, so this is one of two major advancements (alongside QD-OLED) that we've seen to directly address this issue. 

So, what implications does it have for smartphones? The biggest factor being used to convince Apple that this is the way to go is enhanced outdoor visibility. A brighter OLED panel on a portable device that's designed to be used out of the house just makes sense, and being able to do so without cranking up your screen brightness to the maximum level will certainly be a bonus. 

Apple currently quotes a 2000 nits peak brightness on the iPhone 14 Pro when used outdoors, so a more advanced and brighter panel could achieve an even higher figure. This brightness boost should also not come at the cost of efficiency as the MLA tech boosts existing light without putting extra strain on the display; meaning you shouldn't notice a decrease in battery life or risk burn-in.

Of course, this has piqued our interest as it has implications for picture performance. Could we see improved HDR support on the iPhone 16, or even better contrast? Only time will tell, and it's worth noting that this isn't set in stone quite yet, as Apple is reportedly yet to make a decision as to whether it will opt for these new OLED displays on the iPhone 16.

In the meantime, we'll turn our attention to the iPhone 15 which is set to launch on the 12th of September.

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Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.